We live in a world of wireless devices, wireless connectivity, and wireless communication. The vehicles we drive are no exception, as we’ve seen in recent years with the rise of applications that have created connected vehicles. A connected vehicle can use wireless networks to communicate and connect with wireless devices. This has a variety of applications, including the communication required to allow autonomous vehicles (AV) to function. Of course, radio frequency energy, or RF energy, is what allows devices to function wirelessly. RF exposure is well-regulated in the US and many other countries, which means that wireless components that use radio frequency must be tested to prove compliance with regulations.
Keep reading to learn more about applications of RF energy in vehicles, as well as what this means for SAR compliance.
Radio Frequency & SAR Testing Basics
Specific Absorption Rate, more commonly known as SAR, is a unit of measurement referring to the amount of RF energy absorbed by the human body during the use of a wireless device. Devices that require SAR testing are typically those used within 20 cm (about 8 inches) of the body, but there are cases where exceptions are made.
RF energy is a form of radiation and when a wireless device is operated near the body it transmits this energy, which is then absorbed by body tissues. If bodily tissues are exposed to enough radiation, they may develop damage. To ensure the safety of these devices, government agencies in the US and many other countries have set forth regulations limiting RF exposure that all devices using RF energy must comply with. Manufacturers of these devices can prove to the FCC or any other regulatory authority that their devices are safe for consumer use through SAR testing.
How RF Energy is Used in Connected Vehicles
The next steps in the evolution of our vehicles are autonomous vehicles and connected vehicles, both of which require RF energy and wireless technology. Although autonomous vehicles may not yet be available to the majority of consumers, vehicles with features that provide driver assistance are on the market and available to everyone.
Examples of this include features such as assisted parking, driver monitoring, and emergency braking systems. There are other features not related to driver assistance that require wireless technology as well, such as modern infotainment systems that smartphones can connect to, GPS and navigation systems, and features that simply allow vehicles to function properly.
As is shown by these examples, modern vehicles need to be capable of wirelessly communicating with internal devices, external devices and vehicles, and cloud networks. This communication requires wireless components, and as we find more applications for wireless technology, more components will need to be manufactured. However, it’s not enough for businesses to increase the number of components they manufacture to meet demand.
All of these components use RF energy to communicate wirelessly, which means that many will need to pass SAR testing and prove compliance. This isn’t limited to the country in which they are manufactured, though. Wireless components need to be compliant with regulations in all countries where they will be sold. Any lab testing these components must have in-depth knowledge of international SAR regulations to provide the most accurate testing.
Components may even need to be designed in a specific way that will allow them to be SAR compliant in the countries where they will be sold.
Understandably, juggling the requirements of every regulatory board in every country that a vehicle will be sold in, along with keeping up with ever-evolving regulations creates great challenges for manufacturers. Manufacturers can face great costs and a significant time to market for their vehicles in their effort to prove compliance, especially if choosing to work with a lab that does not have sufficient expertise.
RF Exposure Lab – RF Energy and SAR Testing Experts
Our team’s expertise comes from RF Exposure Lab’s Owner, Vice President, and Chief Engineer, Jay Moulton. An authority in SAR testing with a background in manufacturing and the regulatory side of SAR testing, Jay Moulton has more than 25 years of experience. He is unique in his ability, experience, and knowledge of SAR, and was involved in the 1996 IEEE World Wide Committee that wrote the SAR testing and methodology used to establish the FCC’s current SAR regulations. It is this distinctive expertise and knowledge that allows us to guarantee our clients accurate SAR testing results and solutions.
In addition to this expertise, our team always works hard to go above and beyond, making sure that our clients understand how we are testing their devices and how SAR standards affect this. We strive to be as communicative and transparent as possible throughout the testing process so our clients are always up to date on the status of their testing.
We offer SAR testing services for a variety of wireless devices, such as
- Millimeter wave devices
- Near field charging devices
- Cell phones, laptops, and tablets
- Medical devices
As well as many more devices! If you’re looking for SAR testing help that is provided with expertise, speed, accuracy, and integrity, contact us to learn more about our services or to get a quote.